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Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling Symposium

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Abertay University

Bell Street



United Kingdom

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Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling

9:00-18:00 9th May 2018 - Abertay University, Dundee, UK.

The relationship between narrative and games has been contentious across popular, academic and developer discussions. If we shift the critical question to the closely related term 'storytelling', what new perspectives arise? This symposium brings together scholars specialising in literature, museology, comics, videogames, cinema, history, artificial intelligence, fine arts and other fields to examine contemporary storytelling through the lens of gaming.

Keynote: Professor Espen Aarseth (ITU Copenhagen).

Full CFP (deadline passed):

Thanks to Abertay University's School of Design and Informatics for generous support of this symposium.

Programme (provisional):

Welcome 8:45

New Primitives: Storytelling Reconsidered 9:00-10:15

How are new building blocks for storytelling practice emerging in contemporary culture, institutions and games?

Robin Sloan & Ryan Locke. (Abertay University) “Videogame Art and Object-based Storytelling.”

Fu Shanchao & Chen Yingrong. (Peking and Lingnan Universities) “Rethinking the Dimensions of Storytelling in Videogames.”

Sofia Romualdo (The University of Exeter) “Museum Raiders: Environmental Storytelling in Site-Specific Games.”

Worldbuilding, Myth and Time 10:30-11:45

How does storytelling work across cultural, geographic and temporal distance?

Tom Boylston (The University of Edinburgh) “The Troll, the Dwarf, the Farmer, and the Cannibal: Myth and Meaning in Ethiopia and Azeroth.”

Mona Bozdog & Dayna Galloway (Abertay University) “Storywalking: an Approach to Designing Stories for a Moving Body.”

Iain Donald & Fruzsina Pittner (Abertay University & The University of Dundee) “Gaming the Heart of Darkness: The Adoption, Acquisition and Adaptation of Historical, Fictional and Post-colonial Narratives in Videogames.

Storytelling and Audiences 12:00-13:15

In what ways are new storytelling practices shaping and being shaped by new audiences?

Ayse Gursoy (The University of Texas at Austin) “Contextualising events for an audience: Storytelling and League of Legends.”

Alexander Tarvet (Abertay University) “Yarn Spinner: Crafting Stories of Life, Love and Loss within Game Jam Constraints.”

Bronwin Patrickson (The University of Dundee) “Dead Fans Walking: What Social Play Cultures Can Tell Us About Interactive Storytelling.”


The Storyteller 14:00-15:15

The figure of the storyteller in autobiography, activism and the videogame self.

Damon Herd (The University of Dundee) “A Ludic Model of Autobiographical Comics.”

Feng Zhu (The University of Manchester) “Narratives of (homeomorphic) Self-transformation in Videogames.”

Joseph de Lappe (Abertay University) “Counter Narrative as Activist Gesture.”

Theoretical Accounts 15:30-16:45

New theories of contemporary storytelling and practice.

Hartmut Koenitz (The University of Hong Kong) “What Narrative Are We Talking About?”

Peter Mawhorter & Arnav Jhala (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) “Choice Poetics: A Formal Approach to Narrative Choices.”

Frédéric Seraphine (The University of Tokyo) “Storytelling with Advanced Intelligent Agents: Should the Creator Abandon Control?.”

Keynote 17:00-18:00

Espen Aarseth (ITU Copenhagen) “Making Sense of Games and Narrative.”

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Abertay University

Bell Street



United Kingdom

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